Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Firm 'misled' over malaria drug

Firm 'misled' over malaria drug

Malaria is spread by mosquitoes

Cosmetics chain Neal's Yard has dropped the sale of a homeopathic drug after watchdogs said customers were being misled that it could treat malaria.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the product was "clearly intended to be viewed as a treatment or preventive".

Neal's yard accepted that there was no clinical proof that Malaria Officinalis 30c worked.

The move follows a BBC Inside Out investigation in Devon.

All homeopathic remedies are classed as medicines and require prior authorisation by the MHRA, but Malaria Officinalis 30c has none.

The presenter of Inside Out South West, Janine Jansen, was sold the homeopathic remedy by Neal's Yard in Exeter and was advised that she could use it to help deal with malaria.

David Carter, head of the borderline team at the MHRA, said: "This product was clearly intended to be viewed as a treatment or preventive for malaria, which is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease.

"We regard the promotion of an unauthorised, self-medicating product for such a serious condition to be potentially harmful to public health and misleading."
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